Multiple pregnancies are usually a shock to any couple who discover they are expecting twins (or more) and they require a bit more preparation than a single birth. Here is all the unexpected ways you might need to prepare before you welcome twins. It will take some extra work, but will be the greatest blessing of your life so far:
Specialized antenatal classes for those expecting twins exist. Go to these sessions for advice specifically aimed at multiple pregnancies and births, support from other people expecting twins, and those who already have them. They will be able to give you invaluable tips on how to welcome your twins.
You can choose whether your babies will sleep in the same or separate cribs. In fact, twins that share a crib help each other regulate their temperatures and can soothe each other to sleep better. What is more, is that twins born prematurely will be used to a lot of fuss and contact, so putting them to sleep alone can be unsettling at first.
Be aware that premature babies have tiny stomachs and require feeding around every 2-3 hours, thus keeping the crib in your bedroom is imperative to reducing your sleep loss. It is also proven to reduce the risk of cot death.
Never put babies to sleep in your bed. If you want closer contact with babies as you sleep, look into getting a co-sleeper cot.
With two babies, you will need a double buggy to help you get around. There are many different types, sizes, and seating situations, so use a review site to help you pick the best buggy solution for you and your babies. Look at for in-depth reviews and ratings of the best double buggies available.
Having two babies is not cheap, therefore, hand-me-downs, thrift stores, and gifts from friends and family are a great help to reduce your costs.
You can get good-as-new clothes, toys, and other baby necessities from charity stores and most moms will be more than happy to pass on old baby things when they do not plan to have any more children.
Be aware that car seats and crib mattresses should always be bought new, to ensure they are fit for use and up-to-date with the latest safety regulations.
You will be used to doing everything for three during your pregnancy and that does not stop at packing your hospital bag. Packing enough clothes for you, plus two babies can make your bag overflow, so you might want to leave some extra items in your car or at home for your birth partner to bring when necessary.
The most important thing to pack for your babies is smaller than newborn clothes. Twins are more often than not born premature, and likely to be much smaller than single newborns. Bring 10-15 outfits per baby, since newborns require a lot of outfit changes. Blankets or baby jackets are required for leaving the hospital in colder weather.
Unexpected items you should pack:
- Chewing gum and peppermint tea- help kickstart your digestive system after birth
- Big knickers- ones that will not chafe a caesarean scar (twins are much more likely to be born this way)
- Shawl or wrap– much easier to keep you warm, rather than struggle to get a jumper on
- Socks– although hospitals are kept warm, you might suffer the chills during labor.
What To Expect
- Twins are often premature. This means you should be fully prepared for birth earlier than when you are expecting a single baby. It is recommended that your hospital bag is packed by 26 weeks.
- Newborn twins at home require extra help. This can mean drafting in an extra pair of hands if you are a single parent or even if you have a partner — twins are a lot of work! You may want to arrange some form of childcare for your other children for at least the first few weeks.
- There are many charities, foundations, and clubs out there specifically to help and support parents of twins. If you need support, do not hesitate to reach out.